More than 700 items have already been analysed using the new system
The first firearms database allowing detectives in England and Wales to link crimes in "double quick time" has been officially launched.
The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (Nabis) gives guns and bullets a traceable "fingerprint".
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the analysis would help police get firearms off the streets.
She said: "If you are in a gang and you use a gun... you are more likely to be caught and you will end up in prison."
The database stores forensic information from all firearms and ballistics material recovered by police in England and Wales.
Sophisticated equipment then creates a "fingerprint" allowing detectives to establish links to previous crimes within 48 hours of an offence being committed.
Ms Smith said: "We have seen gun crime coming down and it is coming down because of good detective work and good policing.
"Nabis's specialist CSI [Crime Scene Investigation]-style analysis of ballistics - effectively giving guns and bullets a fingerprint which can be tracked - will help police match guns to offenders in double quick time.
"Nabis's expert advice will help police take more guns off our streets and better protect our communities from gun-related crimes.
"I need to be clear that if you are in a gang and you use a gun, this sort of facility means you are more likely to be caught and you will end up in prison."
The Nabis system will be based at three centres - in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Det Ch Supt Paul James, head of Nabis, said more than 100 incidents had already been linked since the programme began three months ago.
"I can confidently say there is nothing else like this in the world. The scientists here, and the work they are doing, is cutting edge," he said.
"We actually say every gun tells a story - Nabis seeks to unlock these stories.
"By bringing together science, intelligence and technology we can unravel where a firearm has been used, by whom and why."
More than 700 items have been analysed using the new system.
They include the Fairfield Post Office shooting in which a sub-postmaster's son was shot dead in an alleged armed robbery in Worcestershire.
Mr James added: "Although gun crime is rare and accounts for just a small percentage of all crime... whenever a gun is fired or used by a criminal it has an impact."